The Common Good

Christian Social Justice Leaders Unhappy With Congress As Government Shutdown Looms

Date: September 30, 2013

Christian leaders have criticized Congress today, arguing that its failure to solve a "completely avoidable budget and financial crises" would leave the country's poorest most at risk.

In a letter released Monday, 33 Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders expressed deep concern that "shuttering the federal government or defaulting on the nation's financial commitments is likely to reverse our fragile economic recovery, punish the middle class, and deeply harm our most vulnerable neighbors."

They also called on the House of Representatives' most conservative members to rethink the effect of their actions, warning them that "to hold our governance processes and financial credibility hostage to narrow priorities is not only dangerous to the nation's near-term financial well-being," but that "it threatens the very foundations of our democratic process and our capacity to live united in community."

Sojourners CEO, Jim Wallis, said that from a faith-based perspective, the government was failing to fulfill the role God had laid out for it.

"The Bible sees the role of government to protect from evil and promote the good, especially helping and protecting the poorest and most vulnerable people. To protect the common good and the most vulnerable is being denied as the role of government by those who are so eager to push for the brinkmanship of one government crisis and confrontation after another," Wallis said as he participated in a press conference with several of the letter's signatories this morning.
"Those who are eager to shut down the government now and later risk defaulting on the nation's debt need to read their Bibles — at least the ones who claim to be Christian do," he added.